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Michelangelo image

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564)
David Slaying Goliath, Four sketches
Black chalk
a: 2 5/8 x 4 3/8 inches (68 x 11 mm); b: 2 1/16 x
3 1/4 inches (52 x 82 mm); c: 2 x 2 11/16 inches
(50 x 68 mm); d: 2 13/16 x 3 1/2 inches (71 x 88 mm)
Gift of J. P. Morgan, Jr.; I, 32a-d
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Michelangelo and his follower Daniele da Volterra first met in the 1540s; around 1555 Michelangelo provided drawings, including the present ones, for several of the five paintings commissioned by Giovanni della Casa from Daniele. These powerful, rapidly executed studies of two grappling figures served as the basis for Daniele's lost clay model and doublesided painting on slate depicting David Slaying Goliath. Michelangelo had previously treated the subject in one of the spandrels of the Sistine Chapel.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.